Bihar to figure in international labour meet at Geneva

PATNA: Steps taken by the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government for improving the lot of state’s workforce and unemployed youths would figure prominently at the 16-day 101st International Labour Conference (ILC) to be organized by International Labour Organisation (ILO) at Geneva (Switzerland), from May 30.

State labour resources development (LRD) department minister Janardan Singh Sigriwal, who would be a part of the four-member Indian delegation, led by Union labour and employment minister Mallikarjun Khadge, to ILC, said here on Saturday the ILO has allotted the first five days of the ILC to discuss the problems related to labour and youth unemployment in India, and also to take account of the concrete and corrective steps taken by the governments, both Union and state, on these fronts.

Sigriwal said the labour ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Haryana would also accompany Khadge to Geneva. According to him, it is for the first time since 1984 that a Bihar representative would be part of an Indian delegation to the ILC. A detailed discussion on the situations prevailing in the member countries would help ILO adopt a plan of action and also determine the priority areas for 2012-16, Sigriwal said. He would leave Patna for Geneva via Delhi on May 28 and return on June 10.

As per the agenda of ILC, Sigriwal, in his deliberation, would present the Bihar scene, touching on the three aspects of social security and welfare schemes for workers in the unorganized sector, youth unemployment and mitigating measures, and rights at work.

“The Nitish government has taken several steps in the last six years to address the myriad problems facing the state’s workers,” Sigriwal said, adding, “We, in fact, have taken concrete steps with regard to all the three parameters defined by the ILO for the 101st ILC.”

With regard to the social security measures, he referred to the launch of a new scheme of ‘Bihar Centenary Unorganised Workers and Craftsmen Social Security Scheme (2011)’ that gives compensation of Rs 30,000 to the next kin of unorganized workers in case of natural death, Rs 1 lakh for accidental death, Rs 75,000 in case of permanent disability, Rs 37,500 for permanent partial disability, Rs 5,000 for treatment during injury and Rs 30,000 for treatment of chronic diseases. That apart, a maximum of two children from the family of unorganized worker get monthly scholarship of Rs 100 each.

Sigriwal said workers engaged in construction sector are given a one-time grant of Rs 15,000 for repair of their houses, or for purchasing their equipment, while ‘bidi’ workers are also given grant for constructing their houses. Migrant workers are also paid money for permanent disability and permanent partial disability, and a health insurance scheme for the unorganized workers is also being implemented. “Rights of industrial and other workers are being protected under various Acts in Bihar,” Sigriwal said.

As to addressing the problems of unemployed youths, Sigriwal said refurbished employment exchanges, along with fully computerized Career Information Centres, have been addressing to their needs, either through vocational guidelines or employment-cum-vocational fairs. Around 66,000 unemployed got recruited during 2010-11 and around 56,000 during 2011-12, he said.


Source: Abhay Singh for The Times of India